Whats the easiest way to get underneath my car without spending a lot of money?

Basically I'm installing a few things on my car, and some of these installations require under the vehicle access. Now I don't have access to a car ramp or axle stands and I don't want to pay a mechanic to use there's or to do the install for me.

My idea is as follows: Find a deserted bit of land and build a small ramp out of bricks (kind of like how a kerb is raised of the road - but higher, and on both sides for 2 pairs of wheels). Once I've driven my car onto the self-erected ramp I should be able to get the handbrake on and secure it properly before getting underneath on my knee's. This would allow a lot more light to get in so I can see what I'm doing, but what are the complications and what precautions should I consider? If Police caught me doing this what sort of trouble could I get into? Any better ideas?

(I plan to ignore people who tell me to get it done professionally. I'm not spending upwards of £1000 on labour to install s**t that I could do in a couple of days myself.)

12 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Do not use bricks or concrete blocks to hold car up when you are underneath, they can crumble without warning. Like wise any form of earth ramp or hole in the ground which does not have side wall supports and hard surface around it. Also do not work under a car which is supported solely by a jack or jacks of any sort. The best (and not expensive) way is to buy a small trolley jack and two axle stands - in UK this should not cost more than £75 and is cheap compared to the £1000 you say you have been quoted in labour costs. Ramps are good but more expensive and difficult to store. Also use this sort of kit on hard surfaces only, not on bare earth, grass etc. As for light, there are cheap work lamps than run off car battery if you can't get a mains lead near the car.

    Source(s): Have vintage car, always underneath it, value my life.
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  • 10 years ago

    Get a set of inexpensive ramps at an auto parts store. I can understand saving some money on the repairs, I love to do my own work, but your talking about being crushed to death here.

    I've seen people lose body parts or even their life trying to take a shortcut. Get a set of ramps or stands and be safe. Your life is worth more than the few pounds it will cost for the proper tools, and you'll still save a fortune by doing the work yourself.

    Source(s): Retired Army motor SGT/ASE certified master mechanic
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  • 4 years ago

    hey it really depends on the situation. if your parents are really going to support you then talk to them. having a new car can the most reliable as can be. the new Mitsubishi's lancer is a great sporty sedan and offers great gas mileage. a cobalt is also great and the dodge stratus offers a great warranty also. remember do your research before you talk to your parents. these cars are all dependable and nice sporty cars. now if they offer you a budget car just let them know about the consequences of having an old car. now if your into tuning both worlds can be fun no matter what. remember doing your research and doing your homework will always appeal to your parents. hey good luck and take care.

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  • 10 years ago

    buy some ramps or axel stands. I can understand you not wanting to shed out 1000 of labour, but axel stands and steel ramps are really cheap, and are a sound investment for when you want to work on your car in the future

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  • 10 years ago

    i don,t blame you not wanting to go to those rip off garages. make a set of ramps. do you have 2 concrete blocks and 2 pieces of 2x6s? just lay the blocks down with the holes facing up and lay the planks on the blocks and run your car up on them. i did that several times. don,t use bricks because bricks can move around and make the car fall.

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  • Dani
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    I really wouldn't do that! What if one of the bricks cracks or breaks? Do you really want to get squished?

    Why don't you buy a couple of trolley jacks. You can get them for around £10 - £20. They are something that come in very useful to have and are safe due to the locking mechanism on them.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I wouldn't recommend what you're thinking of. For one thing, bricks are nowhere near as strong as you think they are.

    Spend a few quid on a decent hydraulic jack, axle stands and wheel chocks (£50 at Halfords or Machine Mart, Google or Yellow Pages for your nearest one) and you'll be much safer, and you'll always have them if you need them again.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    You could dig a pit in some remote wasteland then drive the car over it. It's much safer than building something which might collapse. Make sure you take the spade and a torch down there with you. And make sure a friend is present in case you get trapped!

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  • 10 years ago

    You are kidding me? You expect me to believe that you can repair cars when you have this kind of strategy?

    Just lay on the ground and have a friend drive over you and park it. Now you are under the car!!

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  • ken k
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    sounds like homade death trap to me/been doing it for 30+ years and i wont go near that setup/those steel ramps aint much/use the bricks to block the wheels only

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